Kia Tigers infielder Kim Do-young had a four-hit game and hit the game-winning home run in the ninth inning. The team’s table-setting duo of Park Chan-ho and Kim Do-young seems to be settling in nicely.

From the first inning, KIA showed its momentum, scoring double-digit runs for the third straight game. Kia took the lead in the top of the first when Choi Hyung-woo doubled to center field with runners on first and second after singles by Park Chan-ho and Kim Do-young.

안전놀이터Kim Do-young started at second base against the SSG Landers in Munhak on September 3 and went 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, two RBIs, two walks, and two runs scored in the team’s 8-6 win.

KIA infielder Kim Do-young roars after hitting a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning against SSG in Munhak on Sept. 3. Photo (Munhak)=KIA Tigers
After giving up a go-ahead solo home run to Choo Shin-soo in the bottom of the first, KIA got back on the board in the top of the second when Hwang Dae-in hit a five-pitch 131 km/h changeup from Oh Won-seok for a two-run homer to left field that traveled 105 meters.

KIA immediately tied the game in the bottom of the second. Lee Yi-ri hit a tying three-run homer off Cho Hyung-woo with runners on first and second in the bottom of the inning. The fifth inning was another back-and-forth affair. In the top of the fifth inning, KIA regained the lead at 5-4 thanks to Park Chan-ho’s double and Kim Do-young’s RBI single to right.

However, KIA lost the lead again in the bottom of the fifth inning when Park Jun-pyo gave up a two-run homer to Choi Jung with the bases loaded.

Fighting back, KIA had runners on first and second with one out in the top of the eighth after back-to-back singles by Kim Sun-bin and Hwang Dae-in. The KIA bench loaded the bases with two outs to try and tie the game. The SSG bench made the decision to bring in closer Seo Jin-yong early.

The KIA bench pushed hard with Kim Tae-gun at the plate without a pinch hitter. Kim Tae-gun took advantage of Seo’s four-pitch 132 km/h forkball for a single to center field to tie the game at 1-1. Instead, the KIA bench pulled out a pinch-hitter in the form of Ko Jong-wook for the next batter, Choi Won-joon. Ko Jong-wook took advantage of Seo Jin-yong’s two-pitch 126 km/h forkball for a game-winning RBI single.

KIA drove a wedge into the game in the top of the ninth with a leadoff solo home run by Kim Do-young. Kim smashed a 148 km/h fastball on the second pitch from reliever Lee Roon for a towering 110-meter solo home run. Kim’s uncharacteristically loud home run celebration sent the KIA bench and fans into a frenzy. In the bottom of the ninth inning, closer Jung Hae-young came in and sealed the game with his 13th save of the season.

Kim Do-young’s uncharacteristic roar “It was like a release of frustration.”

KIA infielder Kim Do-young had a multi-hit, four-RBI performance against SSG in Munhak on September 3. Photo (Munhak)=KIA Tigers
“I want to praise the players for their strong focus,” said manager Kim Jong-kook after the game. “It was a tough game for us as we gave up the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning after a tightly contested first inning. However, with one out in the top of the eighth, Kim Tae-gun hit a valuable tying run, and pinch-hitter Ko Jong-wook delivered the winning run as expected. With a precarious one-run lead in the top of the ninth, Kim Do-young hit a solo home run to extend the winning streak. Park Chan-ho created a lot of chances as a leadoff hitter, and Kim Sun-bin also showed good form with a three-hit game,” he said, praising the team’s bats.

Kim Do-young, who contributed to the team’s dramatic eight-game winning streak after a 751-day hiatus (the last eight-game winning streak was from July 1, 2021 against NC to August 13, 2021 against SSG), told the media after the game, “I’m honored to be at the center of the team’s eight-game winning streak after a long time. Due to my poor batting performance in the middle of the season, my head became complicated and my mind control was difficult. I felt like I released my frustration at that time, so the first time such a move came out during the home run ceremony in the ninth inning,” he smiled.

Kia has shown tremendous team batting improvement during its eight-game winning streak. The Kia bats, which had scored double-digit runs in three consecutive games prior to this one, scored eight runs today.

Kim Do-young said, “Lately, the hitters have been talking to each other about how they don’t want to lose. Even though we were down in the middle of the game today, we were all positive that we could win. When all the teammates are on the same page, it really makes it happen. Even for me, our team’s batting momentum is scary. With seniors Na Sung-bum and Choi Hyung-woo behind me, I feel comfortable stepping up to the plate. On a day like today, when the team wins, I’m even more happy to have a home run and a stolen base.”

KIA infielder Kim Do-young has been showing off his firepower lately as a tablesetter with Park Chan-ho. Photo: KIA Tigers

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